The Identity of a Gospel-Centered Man

Father’s Day 2020

Colossians 1:20-23


Who are you?

A Christ-Dependent Man (Colossians 1:20)

The word “reconcile” in this passage is one of the most descriptive terms in Scripture describing the relationship between God and man upon the miracle of salvation. We are brought into a relationship with God! Verse 21 shows the exact opposite of this. The most significant accomplishment anyone can have is that they have a relationship with Christ!

Formerly a Destructive Man (Colossians 1:21) Ephesians 2:1-5

Savoring the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ, remembering who you once were before Christ should fuel your future in Christ!

a. Alienated– to be a stranger of, alone. Before placing faith in Jesus Christ, everyone is a stranger of God. Ephesians 2:12 “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Who is Israel’s hope then and now? The Messiah, Jesus Christ! Do you know the difference between facts and faith? Facts is knowing about someone, Faith is having a relationship in which you trust someone.
b. Hostile in mind– “enemies in your minds,” As translated in The New American Standard Version. This is the idea that little to no thought of God existed. You may have known about God, but didn’t depend upon Him. Pastor, “I’ve never been hostile in mind toward God!” Was there ever a time when you thought you could do life in your own power or strength? Was there ever a time when you’ve tried to justify known sin? Was there ever a time when you gave God half of your trust, but not everything? This is all hostile in mind. It leads to evil deeds. The Greek language sometimes translates mind or heart as the same meaning. This case would be true in Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
c. Evil deeds– You will know a person by their fruit! Matthew 7:16 “You will recognize them by their fruits…”

So if you’re here today and have placed faith in Jesus Christ, this is a reminder of who you once were. You used to be this person. Pastor, I was never really bad, according to God’s perfect and Holy standard we were all bad. That is why we so desperately need Jesus to save us.  

A Christ-Devoted Man (Colossians 1:22) Because of your relationship with Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross you can stand before a Holy God! I’m devoted to Christ because of His love, grace, mercy, and our relationship!

A Man Developing for Christ (Colossians 1:23) Is Paul saying that not continuing in the faith means you can lose your salvation? No! We feel very concrete about John 10 and Romans 8 making it clear that we’re sealed. Let me remind you of the context of the church here. Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Philosophies were creeping into the church and people were being talked out of believing in Jesus. If you can talk someone out of believing, they really weren’t rooted in Christ to begin with. The sower and the seed parable shows this in Matthew 13. Different people may be warm toward the gospel, yet ended up not following Jesus in the end. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus talks about some will call Him Lord but He will not know them. Jesus said in Matthew 24:13 “But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” Remember when Jesus ask Peter who he thought Jesus was. Peter’s response was given to Him by God, not man! So how do we know we’re really in Christ? Are you developing in Jesus? Are you growing into His likeness? Is there a concern more and more each day to know Christ more and share Christ more? I believe Paul answers that here in verse 23! If you continue in the faith you are showing that your hope is the gospel. We put all of our eggs in the nest of the gospel. We put every bit of hope in the gospel. I can’t put hope in my finances, in my health, in my future! I can only put hope in the life transforming message of the gospel. Everything I now do is because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus! I want to be a good husband because of the gospel. I want to be a good father because of the gospel. I am a son of God because of the gospel! That hope thrust me into developing for Christ and in Christ! I long to learn from the manual! I long to serve Him! I long to sing for Him and hear about Him! I long to proclaim and share Him because of the gospel! For a gospel-centered man, they say the Lord is my strength! One of my favorite “man of God” passages is found in 1 Cor. 16:13-14 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

What’s your identity? Is it gospel-centered?

How does one become gospel-centered?

  1. Receive Christ (Romans 10:9-10) “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
  2. Repent from sin (Acts 3:19) “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,”
  3. Resolve to reproduce obedience by living for Christ. What has Jesus asked us to do? The Great Commandment “Love God and love people.” The Great Commission, “Go and make disciples.”